View Full Version : Complete and total "NewBee" here with a couple of questions!

02-26-2017, 04:30 AM
I'll start off by apologizing in advance for the fact that these questions have most likely been answered elsewhere. I've done a little bit of googling and have found conflicting answers on different websites, so I decided to come here and ask the experts!

I started my first batch two nights ago using this recipe: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/8262-Ancient-Orange-Cinnamon-amp-Clove-Mead. I used just under 3 pounds of honey because I wanted it to be a little dryer, and I ended up using about a tablespoon and a half of yeast rather than just one tablespoon.

When I came home from work tonight and checked on my batch, it looks like some of the foam leaked into my airlock causing the water to be clowdy and very slightly brown. Is this something I should be concerned about? Should I rinse out my airlock, refill it with water and then replace it, or is it fine the way it is?

Also, at what point should I siphon it into a new jug? Most sources I've found say 2 weeks, but what should I look for in my batch to know that it's ready to be moved into a new bottle? Also, after moving into the new bottle, do I need to install an airlock, or do I seal it until I feel it has finished aging?

When should I first taste my mead?

Should I be leaving it completely alone until I need to siphon it? Or should I give it a very gentle stir every once in a while? If so, should this be done?

Again, sorry for all of the questions that you've all probably seen a million times, but this is my first batch and I'm very excited about it. I want it to come out well so I give a bottle to my sister and brother-in-law for their first anniversary this June.

02-26-2017, 07:15 AM
Hey Louis! Welcome to the forums!
Most of the answers you seek are in the NewBee guide of the gotmead site.
So I'll answer briefly and for more detail go there. You should read it, it has a lot of good info
1-Rinse and refill the airlock
2-You change it into another bottle when the fermentation is over. This is called Racking. You should know the ferment is over because the SG is constant for a week at least (im guessing you have a hydrometer, if you dont, i recomed you buy one). But in this case, READ THE RECIPE. when you follow a recipe, follow it to the letter if its the first time you do it. it says not to touch it for 2 months and some so, DONT.
3-When you rack, you can do both. If you are sure the fermentation is over, you can seal it. In this case as i said racking is not necesary
4-Taste your mead all the time! it gives a lot of info. certain tastes tell you if something is wrong. Dont be afraid to taste it.
5-read the recipe. "More stirring or shaking -- Your not listening, don't touch"

In this case, seriously, just follow the recipe to the letter and you should be fine. It will tell you to do stuff that is not the "best general procedure" but it does work for that recipe. So stick to it like a bible. You dont even need to taste it or anything, you cant botch this one. Just put it in a dark closet for 9 weeks. After that open and enjoy.
PS: the newbee guide will give you a lot of info in some stuff that is important. But in THIS recipe, just follow it to the letter, independently of what you read in other places. Specially if its your firt mead. And i would recommend adding the missing honey. You dont have to but...as i said, this is a special recipe. Bread yeast is not the best in dry meads. This mead is supposed to be sweet. If you dont want to add more honey suit yourself, might turn out good anyway, but it also may taste a bit bitter or yeasty...

02-26-2017, 08:22 AM
Louis, you're making a JAOM. Did you read the recipe instructions on the very first page of the thread you referenced? They're pretty specific about NOT touching it for two months (minimum). If you stray from this, or other aspects of the recipe, and ask questions about what went wrong you're likely to catch a lot of flack here.

As for the airlock, you can rinse and refill.


02-26-2017, 01:21 PM
As said above, don't alter the recipe at all. You need that extra 1/2 lb of honey. A dry JAOM will be very bitter.

02-26-2017, 01:24 PM
As said above, don't alter the recipe at all. You need that extra 1/2 lb of honey. A dry JAOM will be very bitter.

True. Unless you with hold the pith. This is the source of bitterness.
I withhold the pith and only add 2.75 pounds of honey and it comes off off-dry.

bathtub brewer
02-27-2017, 07:03 PM
I have not made that particular recipe, but in general I wouldn't modify the recipe the first time. I started with one of the one month meads, as it was the easiest way to fit it in with my beer making and modified after the first. It is actually quite amazing how a small change can make a big difference in the end product or the time it takes to finish.

The first batch I made was supposed to be a one month mead. I followed the recipe exactly and it took about 6 weeks to clear off another 2 to finish up. It was dry, but clean and crisp. A good batch. The next batch I thought I'd make a little sweeter, as some people thought it was too dry, So I added 2 lbs more honey to a 5 gal batch. That batch took a little longer and came out much sweeter, almost too sweat.

The next batch I let go dry and back sweetened to taste. Which restarted the fermentation, it didn't finish for another month.

Then the brew store ran out of my usual yeast so I bought one the brew store guy said was essentially the same. The batch tasted all right, but it took 6 months to finish my one month batch.

any way you probably don't want to read me going on and on, so I'll stop here

02-27-2017, 09:19 PM
As I said pith only adds bitterness. It does not affect fermentation itself. If you add orange minus the pith there is no change other than bitterness